Family Law

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How to Choose a Divorce Mediator

By: Paul E. Meyer, Esq 

First, you need to decide whether you want a lay person or an attorney as a mediator.  Lay mediators come from all backgrounds and cannot actually draft the legal document, a Separation Agreement, which is the goal of all divorce mediations.  Instead, they prepare what is commonly called a Memorandum of Understanding.  This document must then be incorporated by an attorney into a Separation Agreement, which is the legal document.  Some mediators are using an “independent” attorney to draft the Agreement, and calling those attorneys “scribes.”  It is my understanding that frequently both of the parties will meet with the so-called scribe to explain their understanding of the Memorandum of Understanding so that the scribe is in a better position to draft the Separation Agreement.  Once the scribe has drafted the Agreement, the parties will sign it without the benefit of independent legal counsel.

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